The Internet and ISI: Four Decades of Innovation


Working with the CEO, I researched and outlined this 30-minute keynote speech, developed and wrote the drafts and tracked revisions until final delivery at the 40th Anniversary of the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute.


At an international conference in Washington DC in October 1972, researchers proved that networking between once incompatible computers was possible via ARPANET, one of the world’s first packet switching networks.

It was only the beginning of a network population boom that stretched beyond the United States and into France, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and other countries.

So it was that ISI was created just as the computer networking focus shifted to solving the problem of how to make these different computer networks talk to one another.

Bob Kahn of DARPA worked with Vint Cerf of Stanford University to figure out how to unify these packet switching networks that used telephone lines, radio, satellite or cable to connect with one another. They even recruited a couple of Vint’s high school buddies – Steve Crocker and Jon Postel.

They worked out a solution, and Kahn and Cerf first presenting their ideas and later publishing them via the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). They called it “internetworking.”

Today, we call the resulting global information system the Internet.

Full text can be found here: